Goldson fined $21,000 for 'third infraction'

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Goldson fined $21,000 for 'third infraction'

SANTA CLARA -- Safety Dashon Goldson received a letter Thursday from the NFL to inform him of a $21,000 fine for an illegal hit on New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Sunday night.

Goldson, who said he plans to appeal the fine, was surprised to read in the letter that it was his "third infraction."

"I don't know what third infraction they're talking about," Goldson said. "This is the first time I've ever been hit with a fine besides the one I had on the Rams."

Goldson was fined $7,875 for an unnecessary roughness penalty of sliding St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford on Dec. 2. Goldson was also fined $7,875 for taunting Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch on Oct. 18.

Goldson was also fined $25,000 last year after getting ejected for fighting with Arizona wide receiver Early Doucet.

He has also received numerous fines for uniform violations, he said, while producing a stack of letters from the league. Goldson said his fines have been for his socks and uniform pants failing to meet the NFL code.

"They've fined me about $70,000 already," said Goldson, who is playing on a one-year contract of $6.212 million as the 49ers' franchise player.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he believed Goldson's hit Sunday night on Hernandez was legal. When asked if it was an illegal hit, Fangio said, "I don't think so. He wrapped the guy up, hit him in the chest area."

Fangio said officials have told him that they're asked to call the penalty if there are any doubts.

"If it looks bad, the league has told the officials to err on the side of caution," Fangio said. "So, obviously, if it ends up looking like a big hit, sometimes if they don't see it all and it's a bang-bang play, they're going to err on the side of safety and throw the flag."

Earlier this season, the NFL originally suspended Baltimore safety Ed Reed for one game for his third violation in three seasons of the rule prohibiting helmet-to-helmet hits against defenseless players. However, Ted Cottrell, the hearing officer in the appeal, reduced the discipline to a $50,000 fine with no suspension.

Goldson said he will not change his style of play based on the amount of fines he is accruing.

"I don't have time to sit there in the timespan I have as a football player when I'm on the football field to dictate what's clean and what's a not-so-clean hit," Goldson said. "I'm not a dirty player. And that's just that."

Goldson was penalized 15 yards for the hit on Hernandez. On the next play, Hernandez appeared timid as he tried to catch a short pass from quarterback Tom Brady. The pass glanced off Hernandez's hands and was intercepted by Aldon Smith.

"Hits like that get wide receivers the short (arms)," Goldson said. "It's been proven throughout this league for years, and it's been proven since me and Donte (Whitner) have been back there making hits."

When asked if Goldson wants to be known as the biggest hitter in the NFL, he answered, "No, I just want to be known as a good football player."

49ers announce more hires to Shanahan's staff

49ers announce more hires to Shanahan's staff

Kyle Shanahan put together some of the final pieces of his coaching staff on Tuesday.

The 49ers announced the hirings of seven coaches, including confirmation of John Benton as offensive line coach.

The team hired former NFL standout linebacker DeMeco Ryans as defensive quality control coach. He was a second-round selection of the Houston Texans in 2006 and spent 10 seasons in the league. He finished his career playing four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 49ers also hired Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, Stan Kwan as assistant special teams, Vince Oghobaase as assistant defensive line, Adam Stenavich as assistant offensive line, and Michael Clay as strength and conditioning assistant.

Benton, 53, was hired away from the Broncos after being on the job for approximately a month. Benton served as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach last season. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).

Benton and Shanahan worked together for four seasons with the Houston Texans.

Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.

John Lynch: 49ers will be up-front with Kaepernick

John Lynch: 49ers will be up-front with Kaepernick

The only promises new 49ers general manager John Lynch made quarterback Colin Kaepernick for this offseason are open communication and honesty.

Kaepernick has spent all six of his NFL seasons with the 49ers after being a second-round draft pick in 2011. He has started 58 of the 49ers’ past 71 regular-season games.

Kaepernick has the contractual ability to opt out of his contract in March. If he does not, it seems likely the 49ers would release him – even if they want him back – to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million pay for the 2017 season.

“The one thing we will do very well with Kap is we’ll communicate,” Lynch said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game. “And I think that’s very important for both sides. Like everything else, that process is well in the works. We’ll continue to do that and we’ll be very up-front with him, in terms of what we’re thinking and we’ll want to know what he’s thinking, as well.”

Lynch said he developed trust and a good rapport with Kaepernick during the time when the 49ers were among the top teams in the NFL. Lynch was a broadcaster for FOX-TV and had occasion to meet with Kaepernick multiple times during production meetings.

“Every time we talk about Kap, I think of the guy who was in the Super Bowl not too (long ago),” Lynch said. “Things happen in guys’ careers. Injuries happen. Different things happen.”

Kaepernick began last season as the backup to Blaine Gabbert. After regaining his starting role in Week 6, Kaepernick put together his best season since 2013 – his first full season as a starter.

Kaepernick completed 59.2 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 90.7, and he added 468 yards rushing.

Lynch said he and coach Kyle Shanahan have been evaluating the players on the 49ers’ roster. The other three quarterbacks on the roster – Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis – are not under contract for next season.

“Like we said we would – and like we told Kap we would – we’re assessing everything,” Lynch said. “Both Kyle and I believe wholeheartedly that position is the most-important position in football.

“From every side of this thing, we’re evaluating. And we’re continuing to watch the film. We’ll continue to work toward that until we have made a decision.”